University of Victoria

University of Victoria | Victoria, B.C. | Founded 1963


University of Victoria Campus

Not many campuses can offer a 10-minute walk to the beach with surroundings of ocean, mountains and forests, but the University of Victoria has so much green space, it’s no wonder students flock outdoors in the springtime—which comes in early March—to study and suntan on blankets. But the location also influences UVic’s identity, which has research strengths in climate change, ocean science and alternative energy. “We’re big enough to have an international reach and impact, but small enough to create a personalized learning environment,” says president Jamie Cassels. “It’s just that right size.” Also flocking to UVic is revenue from external research grants and contracts, which has more than tripled in the past 10 years. The $200-million Ocean Networks Canada manages cabled ocean observatories off the West Coast of Canada and in the Arctic to help communities, governments and industry make informed decisions about the ocean. These observatories help scientists learn more about everything from ocean change and fish abundance, to earthquakes and tsunamis, deep-sea ecosystems and ocean engineering. But UVic isn’t just for science types. Politics students have long gone on to jobs at the nearby B.C. legislature, and the fine arts building is a hub for innovative writing and theatre.

READ: Where to find the best cheap lunch and more on campus

Standout Programs

Earth and Ocean Sciences: UVic’s coastal location and research centres make it a natural fit to study climate change, earthquakes, resource planning and marine pollution.

•  Indigenous Language Revitalization: Designed for Indigenous community members who want to learn and teach their language, this program is delivered with Indigenous partners who plan the first two years or the full-degree program in their communities.

•  Health Information Science: This pioneer program blends health with technology to teach how health data are collected, stored, communicated and processed.

Cool Courses

The Writers’ Room: This hands-on course brings together fine arts students from the departments of writing, theatre and music to cast, create, shoot, edit and distribute a short film. Students are mentored by professors and industry professionals.

Psychology: Eyewitness Memory: Students examine real cases where individuals were mistakenly convicted and imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. The focus is on understanding the psychological processes that contribute to miscarriages of justice and the interventions that could reduce their rate.

Minimum entering grades Tuition Average class size Number of students Residence spaces Graduation and retention rates
Engineering: 84%
Arts: 75%
Science: 80%
Commerce: 80%
$6,138 1st & 2nd year: 64.6
3rd & 4th year: 26.8
Undergraduates: 18,147
Graduates: 3,446
2,299 (2,070 reserved for first years) Graduation: 65.6%
Retention: 82.6%

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